The Hamster Dance

1 week.

7 days.

168 hours.

10,080 minutes.

604,800 seconds.

Of torture. Misery. Pain.

And Eliot couldn't blame Parker. She wasn't the one who started everything, or caused it spin wildly out of control.

That was someone else entirely.

"Hardison!"

"Woah, man! What the hell? Why're you lookin' at me like you're about to feed me to a buncha hungry tigers?"

"Because I am."

"Wha-? Ha ha, very funny. Eliot? …Eliot? Don't you come any closer, man!"

"Or you'll what? Throw your precious laptop at me?"

"Stay the hell back, Spencer! I ain't jokin'!"

"Well neither am I! I haven't slept in a week!"

"Why the hell're you taken' it out on me?"

"'Cause it's your fault!"

"My fault? What the hell you saying', man? I didn't do nothin'!"

"You introduced Parker to that damn Hamster Dance song! Y'know what she's been playing, on repeat, at full volume, in our apartment since last Wednesday? THE GODDAMN HAMSTER DANCE!"

"Oh… oh, man, Eliot, I am so, so sorry. I didn't think- I mean, seriously, who fixates like that? That ain't normal, bro."

"Since when has Parker been normal, Hardison?"

"Woah, woah, woah! Just calm your ass down man! I'll take care of it, okay? Quit wavin' that scary ass knife at me! Just- just gimme till tomorrow, man, and I'll make sure that she's totally over this whole Hamster Dance thing. Okay? Okay? And quit freaking' growlin' at me, Spencer!"

"Fine. If she quits playing that damn song by the end of tomorrow, I won't trash your hard drive, smash your new phone and feed you the pieces. Got it?"

"Yeah, yeah, it's completely crystal clear, bro. No worries. Really."

TWO DAYS LATER

"Hey, Hardison."

"Hey, Eliot. …uh, man, isn't that your "someone's about to be in hella bad pain" growl? And why are you glarin' at me like-? I think I'm just gonna, uh, go, um, hack the CIA or…somethi-"

"You ain't leaving', Hardison! Not until you tell me who the hell Adam Lambert is, and why the hell Parker keeps playing his songs and insisting I sing along?"

"Uuuuuuh…"

Sophie opened the door to the apartment and started to walk in, before freezing and ducking away as a blur of screaming hacker, closely followed by a snarling hitter raced through the door.

Staring after the two for a moment, the grifter finally shrugged and continued inside.